France

Penn optimistic about Paris climate talks

Hollywood actor Sean Penn (file picture) met France's ecology minister Segolene Royal in Paris on Sunday.
Hollywood actor Sean Penn (file picture) met France's ecology minister Segolene Royal in Paris on Sunday. Reuters/File.

Hollywood actor Sean Penn believes the UN climate change conference to be held in Paris in early December is the last great hope to combat climate change. Penn, who was in the French capital on Sunday to meet France’s ecology minister Segolene Royal, said that one has to be optimistic about the talks as there is no choice.

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The climate change conference called COP21 will be attended by at least 80 world leaders including US President Barack Obama.

It seeks to make all countries commit to a single agreement on tackling climate change, with the goal of capping warming at two degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande will undertake a three-day visit to China starting Monday with an aim to persuade the world’s second largest economy to provide a decisive push to negotiations ahead of COP21.

China alone produces about 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it the biggest polluter on the planet and a major player in the fate of the conference that starts in Paris on November 30.

Ahead of Hollande's visit, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and China's climate change envoy Xie Zhenhua have engaged in lengthy discussions over the draft of the joint declaration.

China has already promised its carbon dioxide emissions will peak "by around 2030" in a symbolic announcement in June. And in September, Beijing also committed in a joint declaration with the United States to set up a national emissions quota system in 2017.
 

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